OUTSIDE the doors of the 30 room Edwardian mansion Les Davis manages, is a region full of opportunity.
And, the Armidale Regional Council candidate is determined to make the most of it.
“We’ve got an opportunity with the amalgamation of Armidale and Guyra where we’ve increased our critical mass of people,” Mr Davis said.
“I see Guyra as a key economic development and growth factor, it’s the sweet spot of the world for growing tomatoes as we know – but there’s also other horticultural products that would really fit that type of environment.”
A grazier for 25 years, Mr Davis said he can see a whole new market for locally grown produce.
And, the upgrade to the Armidale Regional Airport is the perfect distribution opportunity.
“The council is already looking at putting in a new runway… that would allow for larger freight planes as well,” Mr Davis said.
“Let’s see the tomatoes going from Guyra, through Armidale – straight to Singapore or wherever they want to sell them.
“The local Milly Hill Lamb and other products – let’s give them a base where they can distribute nationally.
“I see Guyra as a home for that kind of growth and it’s critical to the success of the combined Council.”
Mr Davis is a member of the Airport Users Group Committee, the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee and the property manager of Saumarez Homestead.
“So I don’t think not having been on the Armidale Regional Council is going to stop me from being able to push the region forward,” he said.
Tourism is one of his big ticket items for Council, and Mr Davis said the region could do more with its historical resources.
“The more we can capitalise on this amazing place we’ve got with Saumarez, Booloominbah, the cathedrals and other heritage buildings – the better,” he said.
“I think the trick is to try and get people to realise that there’s so much here they need to spend an extra night.
“That grows the business for everybody.”